These are the ratings from the British newspaper, The Guardian, for Team USA.
America's player of the tournament. Bubba got all the credit for whipping the crowd up but really most of the early palaver was down to the 2011 US PGA champion, who set about sinking a preposterous number of putts on the opening day and running around like Marco Tardelli in the 1982 World Cup final. Had by far and away the most haunted thousand-yard stare of the entire US team in the closing ceremony. He really did care quite a lot. He'll be winning a few majors down the years.
Spent the entire week wandering around like a man wondering if he had left the gas on but deciding that it will be OK either way because he's got a pretty good insurance policy. Three points from four, the last won when he flicked away Peter Hanson, who had been coming back at him in determined fashion, by raising an eyebrow. Took to the stage in what could best be described as a carefree mooch, both hands in pockets, like a gentleman popping down the road to see if he could grab a pint at the local before lasties, but no worries if he doesn't make the bell, he might have a couple of cans back at home in the fridge. Scruffy and slightly overweight, give or take a splash of genius, he is each and every one of us. Only he's jumped the rope.
Showed his usual fighting spirit from beginning to end, even though it didn't quite work out for him. Unlucky to lose to the Macs on the opening day, he made damn sure it did not happen again with birdie on the opening hole against the pair on Saturday. He never relinquished that lead. And what could he do in the singles, up against both Sergio and Seve? He was a dimple away from going dormie two on the 16th, celebrating a putt which was dropping but then outrageously decided to pop back out again, then saw his attempt at a long-range up and down from the back of the 18th miss by a coat of paint. You know who was keeping those balls out? Yep. Despite it all, he was gentlemanliness personified. Apart from during the closing ceremony, that is, where he was a picture of seething malevolence as a Scottish folk band jigged gleefully in front of him, heidrum-hodruming right up in the poor guy's grille.
The Ryder Cup is perhaps the perfect arena for Big Dustin, who is arguably the most talented player on the entire circuit but certainly the most inconsistent. In matchplay conditions, though, he can have his thundering meltdowns and move on without having suffered too much pain. Having needlessly shed a two-hole lead to Colsaerts in the singles, missing short putts and toying with water, he hit a towering long iron into the 14th to set up birdie, the first of three holes in a row to close out a match in the brisk manner of a hunter twisting a rabbit's neck. Three wins from three, without making any fuss, a gentle giant.
A tenacious wee irritant, a scrapper of the highest quality. Denied a four-from-four record only by Ian Poulter's frankly silly putting display at the tail end of the Saturday fourballs. During the closing ceremony was by some distance the American to appear most personally affronted by defeat. The look on his face! The narrowing of the eyes! Now there's a man who understands how important the Ryder Cup is.
The incredible smiling man. He even managed a thin-lipped version during the closing ceremony, despite his putter having cooled on him – and Westwood's having turned inexplicably molten – at exactly the wrong time. Otherwise a consistent thorn in Europe's side, winning both of his fourballs.
Lefty has never been the greatest at the Ryder Cup but this looked like finally being his year. He formed a majestic pairing with the rookie Keegan Bradley, the two dovetailing perfectly, the old boy taking up the slack when the young pup ran out of steam. The perfect Ryder Cup was in the making – until Rose raked in that astonishing birdie monster on the 17th in the singles. When the Englishman completed his smash and grab on the final green with a granite pressure putt, it was a hammer blow to Mickelson, and the Americans, who had now lost all five of their opening matches. Mickelson's reaction to having his pocket picked? A warm smile and generous congratulations. What a sport. If Seve really is pulling the strings somewhere, perhaps he could set up some sort of pulley mechanism that'd finally deliver a US Open to one of the game's gents. Seve?
Came roaring out of the blocks in the singles and would have had a three-hole lead after four had Poulter not chipped in outrageously at the 1st. Was denied by Poulter and Rose scrapping like madmen in the Saturday morning foursomes but otherwise delivered two easy victories over the first two days. It is always nice to see a relatively unheralded major winner prove he has what it takes to stay at the very top and Simpson gave notice of his intention not to be a one-hit wonder.
He was beaten by the Macs, he beat the Macs, and he was smoked by Paul Lawrie. A mixed bag but the guy's just won $10m at the FedEx and must still be spinning. Plus, like his team-mate Dufner, Snedeker exudes the carefree manner of a punter who's just taken a gamble to jump the rope and see how long he can get away with it – albeit jump the rope more athletically.
His putter wasn't as hot as it usually is, and the poor man ended the tournament as the Bizarro Poulter, with a 0-4 record, and no points to show for his troubles. But consider his matches for a minute: he lost 2&1 in his opening foursomes and his other three games by one hole. And if his putt at the 18th on Saturday afternoon hadn't ridden the wall of death round the back of the cup and squirmed out, he would have denied Garcia and Donald the point at 10-4 which started Europe's revival. The thin lines between success and failure can be measured by the width of a dimple. He also had to deal with the preposterous opening-day putting of Colsaerts, accepting blow after blow with a dignified stoicism.
It would get very odd if people carried on like this every week but the Ryder Cup calls for a sprinkling of showmanship and Bubba has it coming out of his ears like hair pokes from under his visor. It takes a special kind of star to engineer a brouhaha with the express intention of teeing off amid the tumult, then run down the fairway high-fiving half the gallery. And it takes a special kind of golfer to deliver two huge fourball victories and make the usually ice-cool Donald flustered enough to miss a couple of short match-clinching putts.
As anybody who witnessed the great man's meltdown on the 16th tee at the Masters this year will know – he missed the green by 40 yards with a wedge, then hoofed the club along the ground as his soul departed for a voyage in the funk mothership – when Tiger struggles, he really struggles. Which is what he did on the front nine at Medinah, flaying drive after drive into the trees and misjudging his short irons woefully. And yet coming home he was every inch the 14-time major winner, fighting and scrapping to the end in every match. OK, so he ended up with little to show for it. But you have to wonder if his concession to Francisco Molinari at the last on Sunday will, in time, be seen as an act of sportsmanship right up there with Jack Nicklaus's to Tony Jacklin at Birkdale in 1969. Having missed his short putt to win the match, Tiger seemed instinctively to realise that Europe's comeback deserved outright victory, that the Seve Factor was a story that needed a positive conclusion and that – to paraphrase Big Jack – he did not think Molinari would miss that but he didn't want to give him the chance. Tiger might not have the greatest Ryder Cup record, not by a long chalk, but this concession alone is some legacy to leave the competition. One of the great sporting gestures.
Davis Love III (non-playing captain)
Having built a 10-6 lead going into the singles, the American captain can hardly be said to have got much wrong during the week. Within minutes of suffering the most painful defeat of any US captain in Ryder Cup history he was in front of the cameras, warmly congratulating his opposite number, Olazábal, evoking the Spirit of Seve – "He was obviously here for that one point they needed!" – and insisting that any heat should be directed at him and not his proud players. "I hope they put it all on me, because these guys put a lot into this. They played very, very well. We're going to be bitterly disappointed but it was a good Ryder Cup and it was good for golf. It wasn't good for us but it was good for golf." Europe wouldn't have had a Homeric singles odyssey to embark on had they not been facing the strongest US team since 1981, when America travelled to Walton Heath and gave the home side a frightful smack in the mouth. Captain Love, for his efforts, should be applauded. Without his excellence, we'd be talking about a very average Ryder Cup right now.